Queensland-based weapons and munitions company NIOA is continuing manufacturing operations at the Government Owned, Contractor Operated (GOCO) Benalla Munitions Facility in Victoria while recapitalising 120mm tank ammunition destined for the army’s M1A1 Abrams tank fleet.
The project extends the life of type of M1028 cannister tank ammunition and represents an initial step for future manufacture of additional tank ammunition types at Benalla.
The company is working in collaboration with Northrop Grumman Defence Systems (NGDS) and the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) Explosive Materiel Branch (EMB).
NIOA CEO Robert Nioa said: “Our work in recapitalising the ADF tank ammunition is part of a broader, private investment of over $13 million NIOA has made in Benalla facilities and equipment.
“NIOA maintains an exceptional workforce at Benalla which has grown significantly in the past 12 months to undertake important work for the ADF such as this ammunition recapitalisation.”
Up to 100 jobs will be created by NIOA who signed a new 10-year contract for a tenancy at the Benalla factory in 2020.
NIOA is one of the largest commercial suppliers of non-guided munitions to the ADF.
Founded in 1973, NIOA is investing $130 million in domestic munitions and explosives manufacturing over the next five years, including a $60 million artillery shell forging plant in Maryborough, Queensland with joint-venture partner Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions, the Benalla upgrade and an $11 million expansion of its Brisbane warehouse and distribution facility.
The company recently secured Stage 1 of Tranche 1 of the LAND 159 program to modernise the army’s weapons systems, and in 2018 was awarded the $100 million LAND17 – 1C.2 future artillery ammunition contract.
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